World Bulletin / News Desk
Amid recent allegations that the German government has been spying on Turkey's Erdogan administration, one of Germany's most popular magazines has run a report claiming that Germany has in fact been spying on Turkey since 1976.
According to Focus magazine, Germany's intelligence gathering agency BND has been listening in on Turkey since the era of former prime minister Helmut Schmidt. Schmidt, who was the prime minister of West Germany between 1974 and 1982, had reportedly given the order to spy on Turkey in 1976.
Social Democrat Schmidt, who is known to be against Turkey's application to join the EU, had in 2006 reject the idea of Turkey being a birdge between Europe and the Muslim world and claimed that Germany's taking in of Turkish migrant workers in the past was a 'mistake'.
Turkey summoned the German ambassador and called for a full explanation following a Spiegel magazine report that the BND foreign intelligence agency had been spying on Turkey for years and identified Ankara as a top surveillance target in an internal government document from 2009.
Turkey's foreign ministry described the report as "absolutely unacceptable" if true, with acting foreign ministry undersecretary, Erdogan Iscan, meeting German Ambassador Eberhard Pohl to voice Turkey's concerns about the report.
A German foreign ministry spokesman disputed media reports that the envoy had been "summoned".
Germany is Turkey's largest trading partner in the European Union and is home to some three million Turks. But relations are not always smooth and German leader Angel Merkel's conservatives are sceptical about Turkish EU membership.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 23 Ağustos 2014, 16:07